tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS March 28, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
wasting money on a team that may never play there? that and more at 6:00. >> mit onight, libyan rebels say the tide is turning as they advance on on moammar qaddafi's hometown and president obama addresses the nation tonight, laying out his case for attacking libya. >> these may not be america's problems alone, but they are important to us. they're problems worth solving. >> mitchell: i'm russ mitchell. also tonight, new fears in japan. highly radioactive water is leaking from the fukushima plant and plutonium has been found in the soil. plus, she preys on child couples. cbs news tracks down a con artist making thousands in an adoption scam. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric.
>> mitchell: good evening. welcome to a special western edition of the "cbs evening news." president obama made his case for military intervention in libya tonight, telling the american people he did it to prevent a massacre in benghazi. he said once again that u.s. involvement would be limited, with coalition allies taking over command of the operation. chip reid is at the white house tonight with more on the president's speech. chip, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, russ. the president said he refused to wait for images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action in libya. >> when our interests and values are at stake we have a responsibility to act. >> reporter: president obama explained why he believes it was imperative to take military action in libya. >> to brush aside america's responsibility as a leader and, more profoundly, our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. >> reporter: the president said the intervention in libya is
succeeding and said it would be a limited engagement. >> going forward, the lead enn enforcing the nvz and protecting civilians on the ground will transition to you are a allies and partners and i am fully confident that our coalition will keep the pressure on qaddafi's remaining forces. in that effort, the united states will play a supporting role. >> reporter: the president said trying to overthrow qaddafi with u.s. military force would be a mistake. that, he said, would probably take grounded and, to be blunt, he said, we tried that in iraq. russ? >> mitchell: chip reid at the white house. thank you very much. bob schieffer is cbs news chief washington correspondent and anchor of "face the nation." bob, what do you think? did the president change any hearts and minds tonight? >> schieffer: well, i think a very forceful defense of his actions. i think he laid out the rationale quite well. when he said that, you know, we'd be down that road in iraq, talking about trying to institute regime change, he said
that would mean putting people in on the ground, he said we've tried that and he talked about how expensive and how costly that would be. i think that probably reassured a lot of people in washington. i'll tell you what it boils down to, though, russ. and that is this: washington was uneasy about this whole thing. i'm not saying they were totally opposed to it, but they were uneasy. this is going to give the president a little time here. i think the congress will continue to go along with him as long as this continues to go well. and so far it has been going remarkably well. but the president knows as well as anyone else in washington when this starts to go bad, he'll lose support quickly. there's just no other way. that's how it works around here. so i think he bought himself some time tonight but now what happens in libya will determine where we go from here. >> mitchell: bob schieffer in washington. thank you very much.
those allied air strikes the president spoke about have had a dramatic impact in libya. ten days ago libyan rebels were backed up to benghazi. since then, with qaddafi's forces under attack from the air, the rebels have pushed westward, taking back one city after another, nearly all the territory they had lost in earlier battles. they are now settinger that sights on qaddafi's hometown of surt. mandy clark is with the rebels in ras lanuf. >> reporter: this could be the most decisive battle yet in libya's civil war. in the span of just 48 hours, the ragtag army of students, laborers and some soldiers once loyal to the regime are now threatening qaddafi's hometown. the push west would have been impossible without coalition air strikes that pounded qaddafi's tanks and troops and trapped rebels in ajdabiya. allied air raids forced the regime's army into full retreat, allowing the rebels to retake control of the key oil hubs of brega and ras lanuf. despite those gains, these men are moving cautiously.
they want to avoid traps set by qaddafi's forces. the first push to tripoli ended here in bin jiwad. rebels, believing residents were on their side, were led into a deadly ambush. now they say they've learned from that costly mistake. rebels say they're now doing clearing operations. >> ( translated ): we have learned to secure and hold the city. today we found a number of qaddafi fighters in bin jiwad. >> reporter: up until now this war has largely been fought on open plains, taking qaddafi's hometown of surt will require the brutal street-to-street fighting that is beyond the experience of most in this amateur army. but what the rebels lack in training they make up for in enthusiasm. coalition air strikes have boosted morale and they feel that momentum is back on their side. russ? >> mitchell: are qaddafi forces digging in surt? how strong are they? >> we don't know the strength of qaddafi forces but we're hearing
they're abandoning their heavier weapons because that's become a target for coalition air strikes and they're really blending in with the population. so it's going to make that fight for the rebels that much more difficult. >> mitchell: mandy clark in ras lanuf, libya. thank you. >> mitchell: a woman told form journalists a horrifying story of rape and violence at the hands of qaddafi soldiers. she may have been taken to qaddafi's personal countdown. elizabeth palmer that has latest from tripoli. >> reporter: it just took one determined woman to throw the libyan government's controlled message machine into crisis. having sneaked past hotel guards iman al-obeidi made it into the hotel dining room packed with foreign media and told them she'd be raped by qaddafi militants. in seconds, government minders blocked the cameras that were filming her disturbing story. al-obeidi, who says she's from the rebel-held benghazi, was
detained at a checkpoint in tripoli last wednesday and for two days she said 15 of qaddafi's armed men beat and raped her. as evidence, she showed her injuries. at that point, government agents moved in to shut her up and a waitress threw a table cloth over her head to stifle her pleas for help. >> where are you taking her? >> reporter: she was rushed outside, pushed into a car and driven off. at first, the libyan government spokesman dismissed al-obeidi as "impaired." >> they told me that lady is drunk. >> reporter: later the spokesman claimed she was a known prostitute. but today her father spoke publicly and showed a photograph of her on the day al-obeidi graduated from law school. in an interview with arab television, her mother said a phone call had come from qaddafi's headquarters offering the family anything they wanted if they convinced al-obeidi to retract her story. now the government is saying al- obeidi has been freed and four men are being investigated for
assault. not so, say her family. they believe she remains a prisoner somewhere on colonel qaddafi's compound. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, tripoli. >> mitchell: the chaos in the middle east is not confined to libya. in yemen today, islamic militants raided an arms factory leaving it open to looting by villagers. they caused an explosion that reportedly killed more than 100 people. in syria, where dozens have died during recent protests, security forces fired tear gas today to break up a protest in the south. in japan today, an urgent message from the government which told residents to stay out of the exclusion zone around that damaged nuclear plant. many abandoned their homes after the earthquake and tsunami and now new radiation leaks have been found in and around the fukushima dai-ichi plant. from tokyo, here's lucy craft. >> reporter: workers are scrambling after the discovery of more highly radioactive water around the fukushima nuclear plant. the pools of water must be
drained to prevent further contamination of groundwater and sea water. meanwhile, soil samples around the plant have turned up trace amounts of plutonium used in reactor number three. however, officials insist the plutonium did not pose a health threat. in fact, some of it is decades old residue from nuclear weapons testing. the latest setbacks are fueling a collapse of confidence in the government's handling of the nuclear crisis, a scenario familiar to dr. robert gale, a leading authority on radiation accidents. >> i think that people don't... they don't necessarily trust... they certainly don't trust people from the company. they know that people from the government are really just reading out data they're given. it's not reasonable to expect a politician to have a fundamental understanding of radiobiology. >> reporter: which is why gale is calling for a panel of experts to help citizens make sense of what's going on. at chernobyl, the only significant source of cancer was contaminated dairy products which triggered thyroid cancer
in 6,000 children. japan has already pulled milk from the affected area from their food supply. >> since the fukushima accident at the moment is a much, much lower magnitude, it's hard to imagine that there would be very very serious health consequences from it. >> reporter: it may be weeks before the plant is stabilized and years before contamination is cleaned up at the complex. gale predicts the toll on public health will be minimal. lucy craft, cbs news, tokyo. >> mitchell: coming up next on the "cbs evening news," an adoption scam where this woman claims to be an expectant mother. the last thing she expected was to be the targets of a cbs news investigation. osteoporosis treatment-- no big deal. so i have to wait up to an hour just to eat or drink. i've got time to kill.
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their adoption attorney. >> she said "we have a birth mom who's pregnant with twins due next friday." >> reporter: their attorney put holly on the phone with the expectant mother who said her name was kristy bennett, a 34- year-old single mother of three from missouri. >> a half hour late she sent me a text message saying "i think you're going to be great parents to the twins." >> reporter: as the gonzales prepped their empty nursery, kristy bennett started asking for money. then their lawyer, who had been checking bennett's background, called with heart-breaking news. >> she just got a phone call back from the doctor's office, they have no record of this woman. >> she's just playing with your emotions and trying to basically get money from you. >> reporter: the gonzaless ended all contact with kristy bennett and got this cold-blooded message in return. "the girls were born today. i'm sorry you felt you couldn't be here. they are two very precious babies that are going to foster care." and then she went ahead and sent
me two pictures of two newborn babies. >> reporter: cbs news has learned that kristy bennett is actually this woman, roxanne janell jones with a criminal record including theft and jumping bail. we first came across her after she defrauded a cbs news employee and his wife who sent money before realizing they'd been conned. so we wondered how many other couples had fallen prey to roxanne jones' story. working with this web site and the phone numbers and other information jones has used for her scams. we tracked her down. then last month, posing as a mother looking to adopt, one of our producers made contact with jones who now said her name was cindy stevens. >> okay, thanks. good luck. >> reporter: in three weeks, our producer received more than 120 text messages and dozens of calls at all hours. so you need a hundred dollars dight now. >> reporter: pressing for cash for electric bills, phone bills, food and rent. >> but he'll evict you today,
tonight if you don't get it? >> reporter: we went along, wiring small amounts of money picked up at this check cashing store. >> come on in, cindy. >> reporter: all leading to a face-to-face meeting in this two-room hotel suite in kansas city last week. >> come in here. >> reporter: wired with hidden cameras. just four days before she was supposed to give birth to twins. >> just tell me the truth. you really want to give your twins up for adoption? >> oh, yeah. i can't afford them. >> reporter: we wanted to get her to tell her whole story which she had a hard time keeping straight. first telling us she was having two girls before the gender suddenly change. >> a boy and girl. >> a boy and a girl? you've got the sonograms or something we can look at? >> i don't get them. my doctor has them on the file. i don't have them. >> but they're healthy? >> very much so. >> reporter: the talk then turned to money and a list of expenses she had sent the day before. >> my gas bill hasn't been paid. >> well, your gas bill?
what is the gas bill? >> $80 a month. >> can i come out now? >> yes, please. >> reporter: about 20 minutes into the meeting we'd learned enough. cindy i'm armen keteyian from cbs news, how are you? >> fine. are you guys married? >> reporter: i work for cbs news. i just wanted to ask you a few questions just to confirm some things about the adoption. you are pregnant, correct? >> yeah. >> reporter: and a boy, girl? two boys? two girls? >> a boy and a girl. >> reporter: can we get the doctor's name and the phone number? >> yeah. >> reporter: for the confirmation of the pregnancy? >> can you and i... could you let me know about this before you... i don't even... >> reporter: well, we want to make sure. >> well i don't know who you are. >> reporter: that's a good question. because we're not sure who you are. we're here to try to determine if you really are cindy stevens. >> can i use your bathroom a sec? >> reporter: well... >> you can go with me to the bathroom if you like.
>> reporter: moments later she bolted for the door and into police custody. >> you're under arrest. >> i'm getting arrested? >> reporter: put your hands behind your back. need to get your purse from you real quick. >> for what? >> we'll explain everything. >> please explain. >> we will. >> my baby is in the car, too. >> reporter: as it turns out, roxanne janelle jones was already on the radar of law enforcement when the oberlin park police in kansas and the u.s. secret service learned of our meeting with her they showed up to arrest her as a result of a separate investigation. and, we've learned, her kansas city con used six aliases to scam at least ten families since january. last week, jones pled not guilty to three state charges, including theft and identity theft and likely faces federal charges. as for that baby in the car? it didn't exist. and there's no proof she's pregnant. armen keteyian, cbs news, kansas city, missouri.
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up next, receive hartman takes another gander at the goose named maria. this story has taken an unexpected turn. story has taken an unexpected turn. in between, there's motrin pm. ches and sleepls no other medicine, not even advil pm, is more effective for pain and sleeplessness. motrin pm. out for drinks, eats. i have very well fitting dentures.
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one of his most popular stories, the one about the odd couple whose relationship blossomed in a los angeles park. as steve reports, there have been some strange twists. here's tonight's "assignment america." >> reporter: this is a classic tale of love and devotion. >> oh, maria. >> reporter: a story about a goose named maria and the object of her affection. retired businessman from l.a. named dominic. >> people will look at us like what is this? >> reporter: what they've never seen a guy walking with a goose before? >> yeah, that's pretty much a fact. >> reporter: dominic says it all began about a year ago when maria just started following him. started tagging along on his daily walks around echo park lake. eventually she even became protective of him. >> maria, be nice. don't bite the dog. >> reporter: when we first told this story about a month ago, it seemed as though nothing could keep this goose away from her man. >> okay, come on. >> reporter: but that was then. and this is now. today, maria is in protective
custody at the l.a. zoo. she has to stay here while the city completes a two-year restoration of echo park that includes draining the lake. she's now in quarantine for a month. zoo policy. but obviously a big problem for a goose in a relationship. >> when they develop a bond with a certain person, they can definitely have problems when that person is gone and not there on a regular basis. >> reporter: which is why the zoo granted maria a privilege rarely extended to animals in quarantine. >> maria! >> reporter: visitation rights >> how are you, baby? >> reporter: dominick is allowed to visit twice a week. >> you can see the response when domenic comes, which is great. >> reporter: together they walk the length of maria's tiny two- room apartment. then when they get to the end they turn around and walk back. in that sense, nothing has changed between them. although the vet here has discovered something new about maria. namely that she is a he. maria is a mario. not that it matters to anyone. >> atta girl... i mean atta boy. >> i think dominic has some sort
of animal magnetism that has caused mario to bond to him. once that occurs, that bonding can be a lifetime thing and i think we're seeing it now. >> reporter: same sex, different species. >> i am going to go. >> reporter: but still, total commitment. >> and i will see you next week. i promise. >> reporter: steve hartman, cbs news, los angeles. >> mitchell: and that's the "cbs evening news." this reminder: bob schieffer will be back to anchor coverage of president obama's address on libya beginning at 7:30 eastern time. for katie couric, i'm russ mitchell, cbs news, in new york. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
[ music ] >> you're watching cbs 5 eyewitness news in high definition. [ music ] >> the prosecution's star witness in the barry bonds trial gets personal, very personal. what intimate bedroom details have to do with steroids and perjury. buried homes on the slide. the question now who pace? we have essentially handed the 49ers $4.5 million but there is not a single signature on a single contract anywhere. >> is santa clara spending money without a game plan? why some critics say money is already being wasted on a team that may never play there. good evening i'm ken bastida. i'm dana king. the barry bonds perjury trial got a dose of graphic testimony from bonds' former girlfriend today. she provided intimate details that she